Amid the flurry of holiday ads, achieving a high ad rank in AdWords almost seems like a miracle. The competition is tough! Many retailers launched their PPC campaigns very early this year to capture the growing number of online shoppers (up 18.3% YoY, as TechCrunch reported).
As a PPC advertiser, how do you stand out? Most importantly, how do you make sure you’re getting only the right people to click on your ads?
Your holiday promotions will likely be seen by very broad audiences. To maximize your budget, use extensions to expand your ad with more relevant details.
In this article, I’ll show you several ads from retail brands that dominated SERP on Cyber Monday, with suggestions and tips to apply in your next AdWords campaign.
Ad Extensions to Drive Relevant Holiday Traffic
For holiday campaigns, AdWords extensions are especially useful for a few reasons:
- Win higher ad rank for relevant searches
- Boost conversion and lower CPA by creating very specific callout extensions at a campaign or ad group level
- Improve customer experience by pointing people to relevant product categories on your website with sitelinks
- Decrease time to conversion by using call extensions to get the customer on the phone in one click
- Improve relevance by scheduling time-sensitive sitelinks for holiday or flash sales
- Decrease CPC by excluding comparison shoppers with price extensions
Below are a few examples of using AdWords extensions to maximize conversion and click-through rate during the holiday season.
Schedule Time-Sensitive Sitelinks
To highlight limited-time offers, you can use sitelinks and specify the dates and times you want them to show. In the example below, J.C. Penney adds a time-sensitive link to feature the additional Cyber Monday discounts.
To increase click-through rate on a flash sale promotion, you can create urgency by showing how many hours are left or announce specific product categories going on sale.
When you create new campaign-level sitelink extensions, you have the option to select start date and end date and add a schedule of when you want your ad extensions will be available to show.
For example, you can add a time-sensitive sitelink to announce a flash sale or schedule call extensions to show during your business hours.
Show Unique Selling Points With Callouts
Callout extensions look like sitelinks, but don’t actually contain the links. In the first example below, it’s “Pro Tips From our Experts” and “Scorecard Earns Points.” You can use callouts to show unique selling points or provide reassurance about shopping experience (for example, “Free shipping,” “Easy store pickup,” “Free returns”).
In the example above, Dick’s uses callouts to highlight its in-store services where certified technicians help customers customize or repair gear (“Pro tips from our experts,” “The Pros,” “Gear Service”). In the second example, Walmart uses callouts as a reminder of the brand’s promise of high-value, low-cost merchandise with its “Save money. Live Better” tagline.
While you can certainly add generic callouts at the account level, it can be effective to create them at the campaign or ad group level to narrow targeting. For example, for a campaign targeting people who shop for shoes, callouts could feature relevant shoe brands.
Don’t Overdo It
It’s tempting to stuff as many keywords as you can in your expanded text ads (especially if the keyword is “Cyber Monday”). But just like an overstuffed turkey can mean either undercooked stuffing or an overcooked bird, too many keywords in your ad means less room for copy that features how your offering is different.
In the ad below, that likely isn’t an issue, because the ad is for a deal aggregator. For a retail brand though, it’s wise to use the limited number of characters to highlight additional features instead.
Relevance is Key
For e-commerce brands that want to stand out in search during the holiday season, relevance is key to success, whether it’s time, location, or advanced behavioral segmentation in Google Analytics.
How are you using ad extensions in your holiday campaigns? Let us know in the comments.